SWAT REPORT # 65   09-16-06

Act 28:2  And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

Budila (Gypsy village) Bible Study Begins…

Unless you have been fortunate enough to explore God’s many peoples of the world, you may not be able to visualize, even with wild fantasy, what it is like for an American Christian to walk a mile into an all Gypsy village…enter a one room dwelling…hold an hour Bible study and walk back out to your car in the pitch black night with no street lights…please allow me to describe and fill in with a couple of photos.

The change from the common part of the village is drastic.  When the group from NY was here we announced that we were going to the Gypsy village…we had just turned off the main road in that direction when one asked me if this was the Gypsy village…my response was… “You will know when we get there.”  In the common village there are some nice houses…some an American may even dwell in…but among the Gypsies there are hovels.  The ones who can afford to paint the mud on the outside use bright colors…one looks like a watermelon with pinkish red and green…another is such a bright red it hurts both eyes and ears at the same time.  The people are all out in the street…everyone walking (except those staggering from liquor)…and the “rich” have a carutsa and cal”…that is cart and horse…the busy-ness of the community is bustling…some fetching water…others washing clothes at the source of water…men guiding a horse urging him backward into a gate and the horse resisting, not able to understand.  See Photos 6501,6502,6505  (I had a car one time with same problem…couldn’t get it in reverse) Adults grouped together solving the problems of terrorists in London as well as how to get the mayor of their village to fix the road so you don’t have to drive through the river to get to their part of the village.  In amongst all of this are children darting in and out of their dwellings and throwing water, mud, empty plastic bottles and other stuff at each other…just having fun. 

When a white American group enters the scene all attention is centered on them.  Outwardly they are smiling, friendly, even thrilled at your presence…inwardly, who can tell what lurks in their hearts and minds.  They all know why you have come because you have been the talk of the village for weeks, months…So they all greet you with “Pace”=Peace…a greeting between Christians…because in your presence they are all Christians…except for a few who are emboldened by other spirits who jibe you for your walk of righteousness.

Many tag along beside or behind you and are delighted when you shake their hand…all the kids love to be greeted, poked in the belly, put on your shoulders, they laugh at your vain attempt to speak to them…depending on the day and time of day, there may be quite a following by the time you reach the dwelling where the Bible study is being held.  Once inside the audience is reduced to the few, more serious minded seekers…though this house becomes nearly a shrine. 

Very warm welcomes and hospitality is bestowed and the Bible study begins.  Photos 6503-6504.  With more-than-what-one-is-used-to-interest the simplest of Bible foundations is laid and their hunger is satisfied. 

By now the sky is bedecked by stars but the absence of moonlight and streetlights makes the darkness nearly felt.   As you walk, attached to a loved one lest one of you stumble, courteously accompanied by those from the Bible study, you can feel the eyes of many upon you.   The thought crossed my mind of what might happen if you were not so protected by the Lord and his faithful saints here.  I push the thought away and enjoy the coolness of the evening and this truly exotic experience.  I cannot deny that upon arrival at my van and finding all four tires attached and the doors still locked…I was greatly relieved. 


You have seen photos of this park where the men gather to play chess and the women gather to gossip.  We have preached here now for a month and a half.  In photo # 6506 Mihai, one of our Bible Institute students catches a big fish as some Gentiles look on.  The preaching opportunity is good due to so many hanging out here.  The fishing is great because we are still a novelty there.  I lead three teens to the Lord sitting on a park bench.   It did not take much to overcome the arguments they had had programmed into them by their religious elders.  The city is working furiously on the infrastructure in order to improve their hopes of entering the European Union.  The many workers afford much opportunity for tracts and they all seem to read them…Photo 6508.

The police have only bothered us once here and that makes it more enjoyable as well.  When they did come they argued with the same old trite arguments, which ground has been well trodden, and left with the same unfinished business.  Strange, they told us plainly we could not do this but when an old chess player objected to the policeman about our activity the same policeman told him we had the right to do what we are doing.  Again, the left hand does not know what the right….etc…etc. 

Racos church is still in the formative stage…we need help there…someone to dwell among them and set the example and live before them and teach and pastor them.  Such help is on the way…The Chuck Zander family are wrapping up deputation and will arrive in early Spring and plan to work very close in Racos.  Chuck and two of his boys are coming for 6 weeks in December and will live in our church/house in Racos to feel out the situation and to make the house suitable for his permanent move in Spring.  In Photo 6507 Mary Bethany Sutek and Bethany Ann Logan help with the nursery giving train rides which the copii (children) all love. 


A good friend Dan Karbginski, did some great work putting together a DVD presentation of the first two years of the SWAT TEAM ministry here.  Bible Baptist Church in Marysville, CA has helped us greatly by making copies, stuffing envelopes and mailing these to all SWAT TEAM supporters.  This is a very enjoyable presentation and we hope churches and individuals to heighten interest in missions as well as our mission will use it.   They should be mailed in early October so look for them and wear them out showing them to churches, family and friends…take a mini-missions trip to Romania in the comfort of your auditorium or living room. 


Thankfully, folks are always asking us for prayer requests…we rarely make our needs known but the following is a legitimate petition.  Twelve years ago when we adopted Mary from the Philippines we promised her family that we would bring her back for a visit…well, we all know how far the Philippines are from anything…and we can all imagine how much it would cost for the Suteks to fulfill their promise.  Up to this point the Lord has not seen fit to allow us to schedule this promised visit…but the Lord has now put it upon the heart of Mary Bethany as well as Robin and I.  This is only at the prayer request stage and so the fulfillment could be quite distant.  But, would you pray about this. Much must come together but all we are asking is that this be brought before Jehovah Jireh.  Thanks to all who pray.

Encouraged in the battle as we face another winter on the eastern front

 Gerald Sutek
And the SWAT TEAM for Christ
From the states dial 011-40-268-477-243 and we will answer
2 Tim. 1:8, Amos 5:10

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